MediaMill Gazette 3: Launches, events, open data and the lyrics of Queen.

** York Data Launch

I think pretty much everyone who gets this was at the event but for those of you who weren’t, it’s worth a mention. YorkOpenData ( is up and running. It was nice to catch up with everyone and see some of the people Ian finds himself dealing with day-to-day.

** #Locadata15

I found myself in Manchester for the Reaping the benefits from Open data event organised by Swirl and the crowd, with a few exceptions sat firmly in the council/policy camp. More to come but a search for the #localdata15 ( on twitter will give you the gist.
One of the presenters at #Localdata15 was Jamie Whyte from the Trafford Innovation and Intelligence lab ( . By all accounts Jamie has pulled off a bit of coup with how the set-up works and I’ll be talking to him in more depth. But I’ve included this interactive ( from their blog as it highlights the power of good looking content to get buy-in. Before he put this under their noses, the leisure services managers didn’t ‘get it’. As soon as they saw this Jamie’s phone started ringing.

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(yet) Another presentation at locadata15 was from Bob Bailly, information architect at Thomson Reuters. He talked about the problem of/solutions for authoritative identifiers for data. One possible solution is their brand new, open data identifier service permid. It’s got a great set of tools including a bulk service that will match a csv of entities to the id’s it has. It’s also got a nice version of the their openCalais ( semantic tagging tool going on. Worth a look

** DATAKINDUK’s Leeds datadive (

** Last weekend pro-bono data science group DatakindUK ( organised a datadive over at the ODI Leeds node. There’s a bit of a reflection on my blog but I’ll report back a little more detail on this in the news mail out. It was interesting session with varying degress of data use but one of the maps they created that pulled together all the data they produced was really good. It’s going to be online soon but the used a neat set of open source stuff based on this map ( to get it up and running

** Attitudes to open data (

The Pew Internet research centre have released a study on US attitudes to open data ( . The US focus is always an issue but Pew have a huge amount of influence with their surveys; their social media and mobile stuff much drives the agenda in and out of the US (as well as servicing the presentations of every ‘guru and consultant’ at a tech conference) Given that the US and UK share very similar roots to where we are with open government it’s well worth a look. Especially the stuff around trust.

** How I caught my council using dodgy stats and why local open data is so important (

Freelance data scientist John Murray does a pretty good job of filleting poorly sourced stats from Cheshire West and Chester Council. Perhaps Pickles’ armchair auditors aren’t dead yet. In fact it seems like they’re a bit more skilled up than even Pickle’s would have predicted.

** Beyonddata conference (

Last week delgates from a number of European cities (and I’m sure a good deal of EU wonks) got together in Eindhoven to discuss open data and the city. I spoke to a couple of the people where there at the localdata15 event; it got mixed reviews even though they felt the general attitude to open data was better tan in the UK. The Helsinki region infoshare project ( in particular.

All that said, the blog on the conference site ( has some interesting stuff. The connection between open data and smart cities in particular reinforces what we know; this particular patch of the venn diagram of data open government is where most eyes are.

** How safe is our public data in the internet of things? (

The usual concerns over data protection voiced here. But it was the mention of internet enabled dustbins that caught my attention!

** Legible maps (

“The biggest barrier to doing so at the moment is the inconsistencies in naming, which can sometimes make it surprisingly difficult to work out where you are at all.”
The problem of creating maps when places go under several different names. A nice take on folksonomy and mapping.

** Data protection authorities ‘facing considerable resource challenges’ due to digital boom (

Data protection authorities are facing a “considerable resource challenge” due to the rise of internet-connected devices and the ways in which organisations want to collect the personal information of consumers.

So says Hannah McCausland, senior international policy officer at the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). Lots of interesting practical and service issues raised here especially in light of the IOT

** When people become data platforms, it changes how we tell stories (

I enjoyed this article for nothing else other than the term “embodied media beacons” or people connected to the net as we call them. I also liked the idea of the Greek government wiring tourists to help capture tax avoiders!



Data driven jewellery. Mapping the influences on Queen by songwriter and 24 hours of taxi rides.
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